E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


Brazil disallows biotech beans in '03 while Serbia & Montenegro threatens prosecution for farmers planting them

(Thursday, June 26, 2003 -- CropChoice news) --BBC Monitoring International Reports : Brasilia, 24 [June]: Jose Dirceu, minister-chief of the Civilian Household [of the Presidency], said at yesterday's opening of the seminar "Transgenics and Brazilian Society", which is being held at the Ministry of Planning, that the government would not allow the sowing of genetically-modified soya beans this year. "The law will be enforced; that is the order from the president of the republic," Dirceu said at the event being sponsored by the Applied Economic Research Institute (IPEA).

According to him, the provisional measure authorizing the marketing of the 2002/03 crop of genetically-modified soya beans in Rio Grande do Sul was drafted with the participation of all sectors involved and provided for the marketing of that crop in order to prevent losses which could have reached 10bn reals, but banned future planting. "All sectors agreed with the provisional measure and knew that it would be enforced, because it is the law," Dirceu pointed out. He also said that the matter was being discussed with farmers by Minister of Agriculture Roberto Rodrigues.

"As is our nature, the administration engages in dialogue first and then enforces the law, have no doubts about that," he said. He announced that at last Friday's [20 June] meeting between Lula and US President George [W.] Bush, the latter had expressed his opinion in favour of transgenics and Lula had set out the Brazilian position, which is that the matter will be discussed with society. Dirceu said it was necessary for Congress to make a decision on the matter by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe...

Serbia & Montenegro cracks down on GM soybean crops

Dow Jones: BELGRADE (AP)--Agriculture officials in Serbia and Montenegro threatened Wednesday to prosecute two farmers for allegedly planting crops of genetically modified soybeans, the Beta news agency reported.

The plots were discovered in the northern province of Vojvodina, said the region's agriculture minister, Igor Kurjacki. The growers could face up to three years in prison, he said.

Their crops will be destroyed.

He urged "all citizens who know or have noticed the genetically modified soy plants" to report them to authorities.

Serbia and Montenegro outlawed genetically modified crops last year.

Many other European countries have banned the import of genetically modified foods because consumers fear health risks. U.S. officials insist that such foods are not harmful.